IT was one for the record books as avid reader Ann Clark became the first person to visit Johnstone Library when it reopened after months of lockdown.

The sprightly 77-year-old was at the head of the queue on Monday morning to return 15 books and borrow another nine to keep up with her favourite pastime of reading.

As she clutched her latest supply of books, Kilbarchan woman Ann said: “Being able to visit the library was the thing I missed most during lockdown.

"I’ve loved reading since I was a young girl and I always had my nose in a book.

“I was overjoyed when I heard the library was reopening, as I usually visit it twice a week and I must be their most regular customer.”

Ann, whose favourite books are romance novels and wartime stories, added: “When the library was closed over the past few months, I got books from friends and I even read some twice.”

All 12 libraries operated by Renfrewshire Leisure reopened on Monday, allowing members to return and pick up books they had ordered by phone or online through the 'click and collect' service.

The move comes after the Scottish Government gave the go-ahead for libraries to open as part of the move into phase three of its route map out of the coronavirus pandemic.

To keep both staff and the public safe, only one customer at a time will be allowed into a library to drop off books or collect pre-ordered titles.

Face coverings should be worn inside the building.

It has also been decided that there won’t be any fines for people returning overdue books.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, said: “We encourage people of all ages to read books, as it brings enjoyment and knowledge into our lives.

“Libraries have always been an important resource in our community and it’s brilliant to be able to open up our libraries again and provide a vital service to the public.

“Due to the current coronavirus guidelines from the Scottish Government, we will have to operate our libraries in a different way for the time being but I’m sure our customers will understand and we thank them for their patience and willingness to abide by these guidelines as we welcome them back.”

Books can be reserved online at or by calling 0300 300 1188.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond


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